Highbrow/Lowbrow: A weekly update on Denver culture from deliciously fancy to wonderfully mundane

I would venture a guess that no holiday comes close to Denverites’ hearts quite like that of St. Patrick’s Day. Last year turned into a major cluster, packed with events, parades and pub crawls spanning the entire weekend. It is the one time of year where day drinking before coffee and eggs is socially acceptable. In the spirit of this favorite holiday, mine included, I have chosen Denver’s best highbrow/lowbrow way to celebrate your Irish ancestry—even if you are only 1/28 Gaelic, like me.

Parade Antics
Photo by Sarah Finucane

STATUS: Lowbrow

WHAT: Bellco presents Denver’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade

 Ah, the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade where the more enthusiastic among us take to the streets to celebrate St. Patrick ridding Ireland of pagan evil (right). Last year’s parade was a comical cornucopia of garish floats, dancers, “It”style clowns, pipe bands and Denver’s besotted. Even stranger this year is the 2013 Grand Marshal of the Parade choice: Mitchell Morrissey. (For those of you who don’t know, he’s Denver’s District Attorney.) There is a paradox in there somewhere, but I digress. This four-hour parade, yes I repeat four-hour parade, turns most of downtown Denver into a congested rat maze. Starting at Coors Field, it follows a circular route through the heart of Denver and works its way to 17th and Wynkoop and back again. The route is lined with revelers, marching bands, pipe bands, and dancers as the procession makes its way through the city. If you have yet to attend this annual parade, I highly suggest it for the people watching alone but be warned, you might be asking yourself later, “Where is my house from here again?”


irish rover final

The Irish Rover in SoBo

 STATUS: Highbrow

WHAT: The Irish Rover

 Admittedly it was quite difficult to locate a highbrow activity on this particular holiday, but in comes the Irish Rover on South Broadway to save the day. I wouldn’t normally consider The Rover a “highbrow” choice. Located in the heart of SoBo, this dark, authentic, Irish pub offers frosty glasses of Guinness (poured the right way) and, I am told, a delicious Corned Beef and Cabbage. No corned beef for this vegan girl, so I will have to take the recommendation. The bar has a healthy crowd of eclectic regulars and offers a much needed departure from the D-town amateurs. Enjoy authentic beer (no green food coloring here) and a slightly more mellow crowd at this awesome hidden gem.